Tonight, I just needed a quick dinner, and I had some ramen lying around for just such an emergency. I decided I had enough energy to spice it up a tiny bit, so I threw some sliced onion, soy sauce, and racist hot sauce in the water along with the noodles and "vegetable flavor packet." I also decided an egg floating on top might be nice, like you see in the Asian cookbooks in the soup section, or modeled in plastic in front of a Japanese restaurant. I broke an egg into the cooking noodles, but it sank right to the bottom. Three minutes later, when I gave it a stir, lo and behold, I found a perfectly poached egg right in the middle.
A poached egg...that mythical way of cooking an egg that everyone knows about but no one has ever actually seen. When I was taking spanish lessons, I asked my teacher to teach me the names for all the ways to cook an egg, so I wouldn't be stuck eating the default scrambledhuevos revueltos (revolted? returned?) every time I went out to get breakfast. As it turns out, here they have three levels of boiled eggs, not just hard and soft. Instead of soft, you can get either tibios which means "warm" and is barely cooked and runny, or pasados--"past", which is a little bit more cooked than soft-boiled--the white is solid, along with a little bit of the yolk, but the center is still runny. These are perfect to my taste. But, anyway, my teacher had no idea what a poached egg was. I wondered if perhaps they weren't possible up here where the water boils at 196 degrees. Apparently it's not a problem. I made one by accident--no whirlpool involved. Perhaps now I'll have to try without the noodles.